When Does Fashion Shaming Go Too Far?
“That color is awful on her.”
“Those pants are so 1995 and not in a retro way.”
“I can’t believe she’s still in her maternity dress. She gave birth 9 months ago.”
Have you caught yourself saying things like this? We all have. Both men and women. Because of #OOTD and selfies on social media in general, we are now more conscious than ever about what we wear and what other people are wearing. If you don’t look like your favorite influencer or your favorite celebrity, then suddenly you are irrelevant. But does is really matter if your wardrobe is trendy?
Personally, I don’t care what other people are wearing as long as they look happy wearing it; although I’m not a fan of excessive cleavage, short shorts that are too short and show off your butt, or skin-tight ensembles – no matter your size. (That’s not considered sexy and classy to my standards, but sexy is subjective.) However, as a person that works at a women’s magazine, I can’t help but encourage women to wear colors that flatter their skin tone and shapes that flatter their body type. Still, some women consider that unfair because what if they want to wear a bright yellow bodycon dress and their skin has yellow undertones? I shouldn’t care if that’s what they want to wear, right?
There’s so much pressure around us to dress a certain way. We see billboards on the way to work, Instagram posts from fashion bloggers, and we’re surrounded by co-workers that can influence our fashion decisions. We’re also hearing counter-arguments everyday from mom bloggers, family members, and friends who tell us to ignore the status quo and to wear whatever we want.
So who is right? Is everyone partially right?
We all know that our fashion choices can influence our dating life, friendships, and our professional career. We’ve all enjoyed
movies like The Devil Wears Prada, Mean Girls, and Miss Congeniality where all of them get a makeover to see an improvement in their career and social life. Does that mean that every woman who does not wear the high heel, the new off-the-shoulder bohemian dress, and the cruelty-free Too Faced mascara doesn’t get their dream life?
Since childhood, we’re told that you can’t judge a book by its cover. But as we grow older, we learn that we can generally get a good idea of the book by its cover. In terms of women, if she wears skintight clothing, is skilled with makeup, and can rock a pair of heels, she’s labeled as being comfortable with her sexuality, is more approachable to men, and yet is more intimidating to women. If a woman wears last year’s denim with a basic tee from last year’s vacation she’s labeled as simple, laid-back, and plain. Both women could hold similar jobs, be in relationships, and hold similar lives, but because one woman “appreciates” her figure, she’s held in higher esteem by others? But which woman am I talking about? No one is more competent than the other just because one is wearing glitter. A girl in a bikini can still have a Ph.D.
For fashion, it should be to each his own…or to each her own. As long as it’s appropriate for the workplace, the religious institution, and respectable for the country you’re currently living in, wear whatever you please. If you’re not happy with someone else’s fashion choice, keep it to yourself. Don’t blast your opinion on social media. Don’t post a passive aggressive status after your friend posts vacation photos. Just let them be them and you be you.
Fashion is a form of self-expression. If it doesn’t hurt anyone, we encourage you to express yourself.